Trust in Science

Support now available for research projects at the intersection of Trust in Science and COVID-19.
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About Trust in Science Programming at the HDSI

The Harvard Data Science Initiative is currently engaged in planning for the launch of a research program on the topic of trust and mistrust in science.  Our overarching goal: To increase public trust in science by leveraging data science to shed light on issues related to public mistrust of science, and developing interventions that support enduring cultural change.

Work supported by this program and the related HDSI Research Fund for Trust in Science will focus on advancing data-driven understandings of trust and mistrust in science. However, recognizing the immediate importance of public trust in science during the novel coronavirus pandemic, the HDSI has accelerated the availability of funding to support research that examines issues related to trust in science in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Additional funding will be made available later this year for work not limited  to COVID-19 through the broader Trust in Science program.  Details about such funding will be posted here and advertised to the Harvard community through the HDSI mailing list and social media channels. 

Ethics and Governance

The HDSI views relationships with industry as critical to our mission of transformation through data science. The problems we tackle can be informed by the most difficult challenges facing industry - challenges that can be solved in partnership with academia. At the same time, we recognize that industry-academia collaboration gives rise to its own ethical and governance questions. When partnering around a complex and impactful topic such as trust in science, these issues are more pronounced.  Therefore, the HDSI's governance of this research program will be advised by an independent advisory board whose members are external to Harvard.  More information about the composition and work of this board will follow as the program takes shape. 

The HDSI Research Fund for Trust in Science

The Harvard Data Science Initiative Research Fund for Trust in Science will provide philanthropic support for research that advances understanding of trust and mistrust in science by leveraging data science, toward the goal of creating actionable insights.  Reflecting the breadth and potential impact of this work, the Fund is open to gifts from multiple donors who seek to catalyze this progress. Initial seed funding for the Fund has been provided by Bayer, an HDSI Corporate Member.

Support for projects related to COVID-19 and Trust in Science now available

In 2020, a portion of the fund will be used to support projects that employ data-driven approaches to advance our understanding of trust and mistrust in science in the context of the novel coronavirus pandemic.  Details about how to apply are provided here.